NHL Rumors: Flyers, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Rangers, Canadiens, Predators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Elliotte Friedman writes out his 32 Thoughts and offers updates on a number of teams including the Philadelphia Flyers, Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and more. Meanwhile, Nashville Predators GM David Poile shoots down rumors he is actively shopping Filip Forsberg. Finally, what are the Montreal Canadiens planning if they aren’t looking at a traditional rebuild?

Ristolainen Likely to Get Moved

The Flyers are likely to be sellers and all eyes are on Claude Giroux. That said, Friedman notes, “I think Rasmus Ristolainen gets moved.” He adds, “He wants a playoff series. Not only do I understand the desire to finally get a chance after almost 600 games, but I could see Ristolainen thinking postseason style as beneficial for his market value.”

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Ristolainen is in the final year of a deal that pays him $5.4 million and was acquired by the Flyers this past offseason.

Maple Leafs Want to Hold Onto Certain Prospects

The Maple Leafs announced that the club has recalled forward prospect Nick Robertson from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. A broken leg suffered in the Marlies’ second game of the season but Kyle Dubas has been happy with his play. He wanted to bring him up for insurance purposes but there’s also some thought that the Maple Leafs might be showcasing him in the event of an upcoming trade.

Nick Robertson Toronto Maple Leafs
Nick Robertson, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

Friedman also notes:

“Toronto’s made it clear they desire to hold Matthew Knies and Topi Niemela — especially for rentals or shorter-term options. Nick Robertson for a rental seems unlikely. I suspect that, after the Olympics, Nick Abruzzese moved towards this group, as well. They don’t have a ton of draft picks, but feel very good about their prospects.”

Rangers Looked at Olofsson

Friedman writes that he thinks the Rangers took a look at Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson. But, because of his status as a pending restricted free agent and one with arbitration rights, New York elected not to go there because they aren’t sure they can handle next season’s projected salary for the player.

Oilers Could Run With 3 Goalies, Archibald Healthy

Friedman wonders if the Oilers might run with a three-goalie system over the next handful of games. Noting that GM Ken Holland has been very clear that he doesn’t want to make a bad trade, the Oilers could call Stuart Skinner up and carry all three of Skinner, Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen. It would essentially be the Oilers running 11 forwards and six defensemen, plus three goalies.

Stuart Skinner Edmonton Oilers
Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Also with the Oilers, there’s a chance the Edmonton Oilers could get forward Josh Archibald back but there are a lot of things that have to happen first. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Sun notes that Archibald has been given a clean bill of health following a diagnosis of myocarditis.

Matheson writes that Holland doesn’t believe the player has gotten vaccinated so if he were to return to the Oilers, his usage would be limited. Matheson explains:

If he won’t get vaccinated, it’s a moot point, though. He can play games in Canada but with border/health/quarantine issues, travelling to the U.S. for games is likely out of the question. The Oilers have two of their 15 remaining road games in this country. In Calgary on March 7 and March 26. He can drive there.

source – ‘OILERS NOTES: Josh Archibald is back with clean bill of health’ – Jim Matheson – Edmonton Sun – 02/24/2022

Poile Denies Forsberg Trade Rumors

As per Jon Burton, “GM David Poile just told me the team is NOT actively shopping forward Filip Forsberg in a trade as is being reported.” He adds, “Maintains the team wants to sign him long term and negotiations with his reps are ongoing.”

Canadiens Not Undergoing Traditional Rebuild

Pierre LeBrun of TSN noted during the recent Insider Trading segment that the Montreal Canadiens are not going through the process of a traditional rebuild. They are seeing this as more of a roster transformation and he also reports that the Canadiens intend to be pretty aggressive in this summer’s UFA market. He notes they’d like to lure a big star or two and they believe that having Martin St. Louis as coach might be a draw for some free agents.